Health Kentucky Politics

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked a federal judge not to grant a temporary restraining order against a new restrictive abortion law. 

The measure makes it harder for minors to get abortions, restricts abortion medication and adds new requirements for the disposal of fetal remains. It went into effect last week after the Kentucky legislature overrode Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s veto of the bill. 

Planned Parenthood filed documents in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of the law and asking judges to temporarily block it. 

They have argued that the law means a de facto ban on abortion in Kentucky, since they can’t immediately comply with new requirements. 

Those requirements include participation in the Kentucky Abortion-Inducing Drug Certification Program and additional reporting requirements that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services hasn’t set up yet.

Cameron said in his response Tuesday that Planned Parenthood’s argument on this is faulty because “HB3 does not require Planned Parenthood to comply with forms and regulations that do not exist yet.” 

Cameron added there are some parts they should be able to comply with now. 

Cameron also said the organization has not met its burden of proving the bill unconstitutional and said the fact that they can’t yet fill out certain forms because they don’t exist yet “is not a blank check for Planned Parenthood to ignore every other provision of HB 3 that it does not like.”

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings said late last week that she was immediately considering the motion for a temporary restraining order and called for Cameron to provide any response by noon Tuesday. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, online court records do not show a decision from Grady Jennings.

The ACLU also filed documents in an existing federal case last week, challenging the new law on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, which, with Planned Parenthood, was one of two abortion providers in the state. 

The ACLU’s filings also contest the bill’s 15-week ban.

 

Aprile Rickert is WFPL's health reporter.